Taking a slight detour from the EdTech posts, and sharing something beautiful that I experienced over the last few weeks.
Building a startup is hard. Founders sometimes walk into a furnace for the sake of their business, doing everything possible - to make the business work, to ensure the wellbeing of the team, to keep things stable and growing. However, out of all the factors that may determine the success of the business, an entrepreneur probably controls only 30 to 40 percent of them. Competitors, environmental circumstances, and several other factors often make up the rest.
The past 4.5 years of building GreyAtom have been extremely satisfying and personally accomplishing, but at the same time they’ve also been exhausting. Through these years, I didn’t sleep very well, neglected exercise. Along with the excitement of what’s ahead next, there was also a constant sense of anxiousness.
I felt the need to give myself an opportunity to pause, reflect, integrate, drop in deeper within myself, and experience living in the moment.
So last week, I decided to focus on my “Inner Engineering”. I wanted to take another stab at self-discovery, and find the next piece of me that I hadn't encountered yet. I have been practicing yoga for about a year now, but this time I wanted to deep dive with a complete 7-day retreat to begin the ritual of a daily practice.
I decided to head to the Yoga capital of the world - Rishikesh, for my first solo trip. It was my 4th visit to this spiritual land - the vibe and energy of this place has always made me gravitate towards it each time I have been at an important juncture in life.
I chose my yoga retreat at Abhayaranya, Rishikesh Yogpeeth - one of the oldest Teacher Training establishments. Rishikesh Yogpeeth sits atop a mountain, beyond all the hustle of the town. The only way to access the Yogpeeth is by trekking 45 minutes up a trail from the Neelkanth Road which makes the experience all the more wonderful.
Witnessing beautiful streams and waterfalls everywhere as I climbed towards the campus was just the beginning of a blissful journey.
When I reached the top, I just had 1 thought - “If heaven exists, this must be one of the areas within!”
Over the next 7 days, I spent time learning advanced yoga asanas, pranayama, kriyas, yoga philosophy, ayurveda, meditation, and various other yoga practices. And all of these in a manner that I could incorporate them into my daily lifestyle. I experienced a whole new minimalistic life - living simply & eating sattvic meals.
Each day began with a fresh and aspiring mindset, and ended with great virtuous learnings about life. Not a single day went by without learning something new from the splendid yoga gurus - and how it changed my life for the good! The teachers, the management, and the entire staff of Abhayaranya were the most beautiful souls I have met.
It is only once in a while that you get to experience something so absolutely incredible and profound that trying to put it into words is just a fruitless endeavour. Moments like that normally last a few minutes, hours and if you're lucky, days. Studying Yoga at Rishikesh Yog Peeth was it for me, except it goes on for a week (naturally, I never wanted it to end).
About the programme itself, what can I say? What would be the right and sufficient words to describe something that is so deeply held within and which keeps evolving day by day after you leave? It was indeed transformative. It was the opening of doors for one to see how deep, how long, how wide and how high the world as well as the philosophy of Yoga is; Yoga is not about poses (asana) but about a different way of life. The body can be changed with training within a few weeks and the methods are known, but the mind and the soul don't change easily and effective methods are less well-known.
I felt that a week was too less, I would have loved to enrol in the month long, 200-hour teacher training. Not to teach yoga, but to dive further into the realms of yoga and those within me - but that is for a different time. I am surely going back!
Travelling solo is a great adventure, and it can be a very healthy thing to do - in that we expand our horizons and learn about ourselves in a way that can be metamorphic. And if you want to combine solo travel with a wellness vacation, then a yoga trip is really the perfect answer!
Be selfish, take very good care of yourself; because if you don’t do it, no one else will. 😊
P.S. If you’d like to know more about this, I’ll be happy to share more details - drop in a note to me on email@example.com.
Very impressive and beautifully worded. Thanks for sharing.